This Iranian film won a Silver Bear from the 1974 Berlin Film Festival. It clearly shows the spare life of a railroad-station manager, in a remote area, who lives in a single room with his rug-weaving wife.
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Yes, the director is not afraid to bore his audience. Which we can all agree shows tremendous courage, I'm sure. Yet I'm not convinced. As a student I'd suffer these Art Film endurance tests, certain of their edifying properties. Now I can in good conscience end my pain at the 40-min mark (I understand: the theme's in the title. They're old and isolated. Still life! Got it!) and save myself that last murdered hour.
It wasn't the slow pace, which fit very well, nor the lack of story, which also placed more emphasis on the characters before us; but I felt an audacious vanity on the part of the filmmaker, which jumped like lice onto this viewer. At the end of the day, it's an exploitation of difficult lives, not a meaningful
presentation offered for the viewer to think freely, but a structure to force complicity of opinion, a
Honestly I feel proud an Iranian director has created a film as beautiful as Still Life. This realistic, slow paced minimalistic film, with superb cinematography, shows us the monotonous life of a railway guard and finally his retirement which takes away from him the only things he has got. This film is simply a masterpiece that needs more recognition and a wider audience.
En esta ocasión, Shahid amplia sus tiempos muertos. Es como si la rutina que se explaya y se manifiesta con letargo estuviese en relación a las actividades de sus protagonistas, personajes muy maduras que se limitan a un reducido puñado de acciones. Esta dinámica, sin embargo, es precisa para provocar la empatía, aquella que se activará con un giro dramático.